Sooooo you travel, me too boo.
And for the LONGEST time, I was in the dark about Global Entry. And BOY was I missing out.
For those of you living on a rock, Global Entry is the US Government’s way of approving “trusted travelers” to get quicker access through customs when you travel internationally.
Okay, kewllll… but what does that really mean…? Let me essssplain my friend.
When you get Global Entry you basically get to go through a separate security line when leaving the states where you don’t need to take out all the shizzz in your carry on or take your shoes off (unless you’re traveling with Sorel snow boots like I did one time...then you gotta take those babies off). Plus on your return to the states, you basically get the government's version of a fast pass and get to skip the insanely long lines which are almost inevitable. OOO and your global entry is good for 5 years!! So if you break it down that’s $20 a month (NOTHING!).
So what’s the catch? Boo there ain’t one.
You complete your application, pay the $100 fee, schedule and attend your in-person interview and BOOM, you’ve got your TTN (that’s slag for trusted traveler number).
And if you’re worried about this taking too long or being a huge hassle, let me tell you from experience, it’s not. The 15 minutes it will take you to fill out the application and time it takes to attend the interview will be worth it for the HOURS you’ll save yourself from standing in lines.
Here are all the deets you need to know to get this show on the road:
VISIT THE US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION TRUSTED TRAVELER WEBSITE AND CREATE AN ACCOUNT
(side note, if you’re using Safari to fill out your app the website might be funky. Once I switched to another browser I had no problems)
COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION
In order to fill this out, you’re gonna need some thangggsss. First, your valid passport & Drivers License or another form of ID. And then you’re gonna need to dig your skeletons out of the closet...Jk. But you will need to fill out where you’ve lived, worked and traveled in the last five years.
Once you’re done with your app you will be “conditionally approved” and need to schedule your in-person interview.
PAY THE $100 FEE
Time is money people and this will be the best $100 you spend. No more filling out those annoying papers when you come back home! WOOOHOOOO!
Plus if you’re traveling for work your employer might reimburse you. OR some credit cards will offer reimbursement for you and even your friends and family. Check out the list of all the cards offering reimbursement on the TSA website.
SCHEDULE THAT INTERVIEW BOO & DON’T BE LATE!
When you’re conditionally approved you can check the interview availability at the closest Global Entry Enrollment Center. Chances are that will be an airport.
You can also complete your interview when you’re returning on an international trip and in that case you don’t need to schedule an interview.
You will need to bring your valid passport & your drivers license or another form of valid ID. The interviewer will take a copy of your fingerprints (so make sure your nails are manicured lol).
After your interview, you are OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL! You’ll get your TTN number at the end of your interview and your Global Entry card in the mail in 7-10 business days.
TRAVELING WITH GLOBAL ENTRY
When booking your flights you need to remember to put your TTN which goes in the Known Traveler Number filed. This indicates to the airline that you are a Trusted Traveler and marks your boarding pass with TSA Precheck.
You will still need to travel with your passport. The Global Entry card is only valid for use through land or sea travel.
When returning back to the US you can head straight to the Global Entry kiosks (BYE BYE LONG LINE!!!). Scan your passport, your fingerprints and complete a customs declaration. The machine will give you a receipt and you’ll be on your way to baggage claim. It’s that easy…
GUYS...I can’t say it enough. If you travel internationally at least once a year, Global Entry is worth your while. It will save you stress, time and the annoyance of waiting in a LONG A$$ line when you’re returning to the US and just want to GTFO of the airport.